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When my MIL divided her money I was opposed to her doing it. When I realized it was a lost cause trying to talk her out of it I warned my bil NOT to touch it. I knew this would happen. Three years later he says it's gone. Frivolous spending will do that! My husband and I put it in a seperate account and didn't touch it. My MIL is 89 and not in the best of health. She has no other assets except for her monthly check and a burial fund (I hope). I'm sick to my stomach after hearing what he did and now on top of that I'm worried ... What if she needs long term care? All I know is we have our half of the money but they don't have theirs. Has anyone dealt with something similar who can shed light on this situation? Two years is a very long time to hold your breath and that's what I feel I'm going to be doing now!

If MIL needs to apply for Medicaid within the next two years, the full penalty period may well exceed that two-year period, depending on the amount transferred and the state "penalty divisor" (roughly the average nursing home cost in your state). If that's the case, then it's better to pay privately until the full 5-year period from the date of her gifts (i.e., two years from now) runs out.

Gabriel Heiser
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Not your circus, not your monkeys. They’ll have to deal with the fallout, you’ve done nothing wrong.
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Pegshere Oct 7, 2018
Had to laugh at this one! Trust me LakeErie the circus and the monkeys are a huge step up from these screwballs!
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Use some of that money you have set aside to consult an Elder Law attorney. Perhaps BIL should go with you. In any case, an experienced lawyer can help minimize the consequences from this unfortunate gifting.

This is not a time to use your neighbor's brother who specializes in Family Law or your boss's daughter who is into Corporate Law. The specialty is critical. Find an Elder Law specialist.
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BTW, Medicaid is not going to make anyone give any money back. They simply are not going to start paying for the nursing home or other care until the penalty period is up. It is up to the applicant (their family) to figure out what to do until then. If the money still exists, the family may decide to use it to pay for the care until Medicaid will. Or they may care for the applicant themselves until then. Medicaid is not a collection agency and they do not go after money that was unwisely given away.

See an ELDER LAW ATTORNEY!
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I skim so many threads that I got some basis facts mixed-up in my post...sorry! It's your MIL and not your mother.

Continue to refuse to let MIL move in (as you did before she moved in with BIL). You can bet BIL will try to make that happen when it becomes obvious there will be a Medicaid penalty.

MIL stupidly gave away her money, and BIL stupidly spent it. Let those two Stupids deal with the consequences.
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Pegshere Oct 7, 2018
If I had write the ending to this saga I think it would go something like this ... Mother in law ends up with a roof over her head in a NH while BIL and SIL end up in a SRO with a leaky roof. When they almost lost thier condo due to foreclosure and moved into a $$$ rented house I said to my husband why don't they downsize into an apartment and he said because SIL said an apartment would be unacceptable. Gee I wonder then if a SRO would be acceptable!!!! I swear you can't write things like this ... Oh wait I just did didn't I? :)

I'm hoping though that if Medicaid is needed they can somehow attach a lien or something to the 80K they put down on the condo their in OR make them sell to pay back what they moronically spent!
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Your question seems to be a legal one about Medicaid. If her gift to BIL is caught by the look-back period, but there is no money there, is she precluded from getting Medicaid. Could you ask Medicaid? No-one here seems to have an answer (except that BIL shouldn't have done it), but Medicaid must have had this happen before. Asking is healthier than holding your breath!
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worriedinCali Oct 6, 2018
If she needs Medicaid in the next 2 years, she’ll be penalized because it’s within the 5 year look back period.
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I would talk to an elder care attorney. Other than that, since you said the bulk of the care would be on you......DO NOT LET HER MOVE IN WITH YOU. It might destroy your marriage.
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Reply to MaryKathleen
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You're at a crossroads here, it seems. You can't take care of her, and now your brother is saying the same thing.

DO NOT MOVE HER IN WITH YOU, even temporarily. Your H doesn't want you to, so don't ruin that relationship by doing so!

If there is a penalty period for Medicaid, you can pay your part from the money your mother gave you (I think?). Your brother will just have to keep your mother in his house because he can't give his portion back.

I repeat DO NOT MOVE HER IN WITH YOU because of your brother's spending the money she gave him and the fact that he doesn't want her living with him anymore.
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I don't see that you can do anything at all about this situation.

All your husband can do is safeguard his mother's money until the look-back period is done (to cover the technical aspects) or indefinitely (to cover the moral aspects), and be prepared to use it for her care.

Your brother in law is an idiot. If your MIL does need substantial care within the next two years and the remaining 50% runs out, then he is in the frame for the ongoing costs up to the amount of the share he's already spent - as you realise. But the potential liability he is exposing himself to cannot rebound on you and your husband - unless you're tender-hearted enough to allow yourself to be emotionally blackmailed into making up the deficit yourselves.

And, I have to say, your mother in law is even more of an idiot.

So, in conclusion, when it comes to crossing your fingers and hoping for the best as a form of planning, you can see where your BIL gets it from, can't you?

What is the worst case scenario you're envisaging?
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Pegshere Oct 9, 2018
Worst case scenario would have to be that they apply fo Medicaid ... and my dh falls for his brothers "Please bro help me out of this mess" or I'll kill myself or some other ploy to get him to cave in. I already told my dh in no uncertain terms I am not paying for their escapades to Walmart. Recently they almost lost their condo a year ago by paying interest only until it caught up to them. They asked dh to cosign a $250,000.00 loan to keep them in their condo!!! Had the nerve to actually say they only needed $220K but wanted a little extra for a cushion!!!!!! Man is still alive and breathing so obviously he didn't do it. But I am dealing with the lowest of the low that think they are totally entitled you have it they want it so hand it over!!! Obviously there is no relationship between us I havent seen SIL since FIL passed in 2008. They moved into a rental house they couldn't afford. A year later he got his disability settlement and they moved into the condo where they are now dropping $80,000.00 down on that! That's the condo I'm guessing will be sold to get the money back and they head to an apartment where they shou,d have gone in the first place!
I am not rich by any stretch of the imagination and I have my own financial obligations. I told my husband if he even breathes the word help when this $h*t hits the fan I'm waisting no time heading straight to a lawyer. I will not take this lying down!!!!
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I'm sorry, I have only just seen your reply where you explain that your BIL has been your mother's caregiver, and she has been living in his home. For how long? And what costs did that involve?
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rovana Oct 7, 2018
So it may be possible that money given to BIL would equal reasonable compensation for care, rent, etc.?
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